Big names are lined up for square revamp

PUBLISHED: 13:30 08 April 2011

dolphinsquare

dolphinsquare

Archant

FAMILY restaurant chains Nandos, Prezzo and Harvester are the latest national brands to sign up for a planned £35million revamp of a shopping centre in Weston.

Anytime Fitness and First Bowl have also agreed to join cinema operator Vue at the proposed mixed retail and leisure centre at Dolphin Square.

The announcement by developer McLaren Life comes before the planning application for the project is decided on by North Somerset Council’s west area committee, today (Thurs).

Councillors on the committee are expected to approve the proposal following advice from planning officers.

The plan also includes building a 112-bedroom Premier Inn hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant on the Beach Road car park and developing Carlton Street car park into a 327-space three-storey structure.

McLaren Life director Simon Berry said: “The fact that these are nationally known brands indicates the confidence there is in the market for both this major development and Weston as a whole.

“We have been delighted with the reaction to our proposals from the local community and key stakeholders and this, along with the work of the council’s planning department, has enabled us to stick to a very tight six month timetable to bring this major investment to fruition.”

Details about the size of each of the 20-25 units in the scheme are still unknown.

But First Bowl has said it will operate 20 lanes and Vue Cinema a 1,200-seat, eight screen cinema at the site.

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, it will have overcome dozens of objections from people living in nearby retirement homes.

Residents of Birnbeck Court and Eddington Court claim they would lose daylight because of the planned three-storey car park in Carlton Street.

But council planning officers have since judged that a ‘setting-back’ of the car park’s first and second floor deck areas reduces the problem.

If approved, the planned revamp of the shopping centre would be on track for completion by spring 2013. The scheme, which would be carried out in three stages, would start with the building of the Premier Inn hotel on the Beach Road car park in May.

For a report on the decision at today’s meeting, visit www.westonmercury.co.uk

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